AFTER SIX FEDERAL JUDGES RULE IT "PROBABLE"
THAT HUBERT MUNCEY, JR. MURDERED HIS WIFE, HE ADMITS HITTING HER, BUT DENIES HE KILLED HER -- "60 MINUTES" SUNDAY
In His First Interview, Muncey Also Denies Confessing to His Wife Carolyn's Murder,
A Crime That Another Man, Paul House, Sits on Death Row For
In his first interview, Hubert Muncey Jr. denies killing his wife Carolyn in Union County, Tenn., in 1985 - an accusation fueled by the opinion of six dissenting judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati. The 15-member panel recently considered new evidence in the case of Paul Gregory House, who was arrested, convicted and sentenced to death for the crime. Also speaking for the first time are two women who say they heard Muncey confess to the crime. Muncey denies making the confession, but admits he did occasionally hit his wife. Ed Bradley's report on the murder of Carolyn Muncey will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, Dec. 12 (7:00-8:00 PM,ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
New DNA evidence exonerating House of raping Carolyn Muncey formed the basis of an appeal, which House lost, eight to seven. Six dissenting judges ruled that this was "a rare and extraordinary case of actual innocence." They urged House be released from prison immediately and they said it was "more probable than not" that Muncey committed the murder. When asked if he killed his wife, Muncey responds, "Oh, no. No sir." Asked why he believes six new witnesses have come forward and implicated him, he says, "I have no idea."
60 MINUTES uncovered Muncey's arrest record containing 19 incident from public drunkenness to stalking. At one point, he was arrested for beating up two police officers. The alleged confession was made to Kathy Parker and Penny Letner, who say shortly after the murder, Muncey came to their home drunk and confessed to killing Carolyn by accident. Letner tells Bradley, "[Muncey] sat down...he was crying...and he said he didn't mean to do it. [He said] 'We got into an argument and I smacked her...She fell and hit her head.' He said, 'I had to get rid of the body because I didn't want to go to jail for it.'" Asked to respond, Muncey says, "They have to be making it up."
Letner and Parker deny it in an interview with Bradley. "Well he's the one lying," says Parker. Adds Letner, "I mean we were born and raised around him and his family and there's no reason to tell a lie about this." Muncey tells Bradley he did hit his wife with the back of his hand sometimes. "When she called me bad names or something [I would] smack her, backhand her...but nothing serious," he says.
House, who has steadfastly denied killing Carolyn, remains on death row. The prosecutor in the case, Paul Phillips, says he has no doubt House is the murderer and believes if he were to admit the crime, his sentence might be commuted to life in prison. "They can go to hell," House tells Bradley. [I won't admit it] because I didn't do it. I don't want to be remembered for something I didn't do," says House, whose lawyer will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.